King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Ezekiel 9

A vision denoting the destruction of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the departure of the symbol of the Divine presence.

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A vision denoting the destruction of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the departure of the symbol of the Divine presence

1 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.

2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.

3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;

4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:

6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.

8 And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?

9 Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.

10 And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head.

11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Upper, leading to the court of the priests. These were six angels, representing the army coming from Babylon. The seventh was an angel of peace. C. — God never abandoned his whole Church. W.

Ver. 3. House; to the holy place, shewing that he abondoned those in the temple. C.

Ver. 4. Mark Thau. Thau, or Tau, is the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and signifies a sign or a mark: which is the reason why some translators render this place set a mark, or mark a mark, without specifying what this mark was. But S. Jerom, and other interpreters, conclude it was the form of the letter thau, which, in the ancient Hebrew character, was the form of a cross. Ch. — Of this many inscriptions still extant bear witness. Montfaucon. — Some Rabbins allow that the last letter was used but in honour of “the law,” Thorah. The cross is supposed to be the hieroglyphic of a future life, (Hist. Rufini. ii. 29.) and found frequently in the pictures or (H.) in the tables of Isis. But it rather represents a key. Soldiers who were acquitted received the letter T, and those who were sentenced to die had Th, (C.) alluding to Thanatos, “death.” H. — We may, however, suppose that if God designated any letter, it would be some letter of the Heb. alphabet, and accordingly the last had formerly the figure of †. x. though this text may signify “a sign” in general. The virtuous would be discriminated from the guilty, as if they were marked. C. — The door-posts of the Hebrews were stained with blood, in Egypt, to shew that all should be redeemed by that of Christ; and here those who shall be saved, received the mark of his cross. This sign has always been held in veneration among Christians, (W.) and used in conferring baptism, consecrating the blessed Eucharist, &c. S. Chrys. hom. lv. in Mat. and lxxxiv. in Jo. S. Aug. tr. cxviii. in Jo. Ser. ci. de temp. &c. — It appeared to Constantine with this inscription, “In this conquer;” (Eus. vit. i. 22.) and again over Jerusalem; (S. Cyr. ep. ad Constantium.) and will be borne before Christ, at his last coming, (Mat. xxiv.) to the joy of those who have performed their baptismal promises, and to the confusion (W.) of the enemies of the cross of Christ. H.

Ver. 6. Sanctuary. Aquila, “temple,” or people (C.) consecrated to my service, (Sept. T.) particularly (C.) the twenty-five idolaters, the ancients and women. C. C. viii. 16. — Judgment beginneth at the house of God, (1 Pet. iv. 17.) and those (H.) who abuse holy things are justly cut off. W.

Ver. 7. Defile. Sept. “you have defiled.” I regard the place no longer. C.

Ver. 9. Perverseness, in “wresting of judgment.” Prot. marg. What else can be expected, when the judges deny Providence? H.